Mark Berends, Ph.D.


Mark Berends (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is a professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame. He has written and published extensively on educational reform, school choice, the effects of family and school changes on student achievement trends and gaps, and the effects of schools and classrooms on student outcomes. His research focuses on how school organization and classroom instruction are related to student development, with special attention to priority populations and school reforms aimed at improving their educational opportunities. Within this agenda, he has applied a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to understanding the effects of school reforms on teachers and students.

At Notre Dame, he has served as the director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives (IEI), Associate Vice President for Research, director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO), and director of Notre Dame’s Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research (PIER).

Currently, he is conducting several studies on school choice, including an examination of the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program and how in-school enabling conditions and classroom instruction are related to student outcomes in charter, Catholic, and traditional public schools. Professor Berends serves on numerous editorial boards, technical panels, and policy forums; he is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Education; a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA); former co-editor of AERA’s American Educational Research Journal and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis; and twice the former vice president of the AERA’s Division L, Educational Policy and Politics. His latest books are School Choice at the Crossroads: Research Perspectives (Routledge, 2019), Handbook of Research on School Choice, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2020), the SAGE Handbook of the Sociology of Education (SAGE, London, 2024), and Opportunities for Learning: A Sociological Perspective (Notre Dame Press, 2025).


Listen to Mark's Episode of Think. Pair. Share.

CREO Faculty and Professional Staff
IEI Fellows
ND PIER Faculty Committee

+ indicates graduate student

*  indicates authorship determined at random; each contributed equally


+Hwang, N.Y., Graff, P., & Berends, M. (In Press). Racialized early grade (mis)behavior: Roles of same race teachers in elementary school student discipline.  AERA Open.  


*Waddington, R.J., Zimmer, R., & Berends, M.  (In Press). Cream skimming and pushout of students participating in a statewide private school voucher program. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.


*+Ferrare, J. J., Waddington, R. J., Fitzpatrick, B., & Berends, M. (In Press.) Insufficient Accountability? Heterogeneous Effects of Charter Schools across Authorizing Agencies. American Educational Research Journal


+Hwang, N.Y., Graff, P., & Berends, M.  (In Press). Timing and frequency matter: Same race/ ethnicity teacher and student achievement by school level and classroom organization. Educational Policy, 37(5), 1349–1379.


*Dallavis, J. W., & Berends, M. (2023). Charter schools after three decades: Reviewing the Research on School Organizational and Instructional Conditions. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 31(1), 1-29. 


*+Fitzpatrick, B., Berends, M., Ferrare, J. J., Waddington, R. J.  (2020). Virtual Illusion: Comparing Student Achievement and Teacher Characteristics in Online and Brick-and-Mortar Charter Schools in Indiana.  Educational Researcher, 49(3), 161-175. 


Guzmán, J. C., Schuenke-Lucien, D’Agostino, A. J., Berends, M., & Elliot, A. J.  (2020). Improving reading skills in a randomized evaluation in Haiti. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(1), 173-193. https://doi:10.1002/rrq.29. 


*Waddington, R. J., & Berends, M.  (2018). Impact of the Indiana Scholarship Program:  Achievement effects for students in upper elementary and middle school. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 37(4), 783-808.


Berends, M.  (2015).  Sociology and school choice: What we know after two decades of charter schools.  Annual Review of Sociology, 41(15), 159-180.

Mark Berends